As we venture into healthy eating and attempting to make better choices, we rely on manufacturers supplying you with foods that mean what they say!
Sugar –free this, fat-free that, we go for packaged “diet” foods for many reasons but mostly out of convenience, convenience for a lot of people is key and if it isn’t they tend to fall off and go back to the same bad habits but little do you know by buying these so called diet foods, you are creating other bad habits.
These Are Some Not So “Diet” Diet Foods That You Should Actually Avoid
These aren’t as popular as they use to be but I still have clients that use these as a go to when they can’t cook a meal. Thinking that a low fat, low calorie frozen meal is a great option. The key here is reading labels and I will continue to speak of this. Frozen packaged foods come with preservatives, high sodium and lack a lot of nutrients. This is why you are still hungry after. Being low in calories is one thing but low in nutrients will leave you even hungrier!
Light Salad Dressing
Skip this section completely in the grocery store! Read the labels to discover high sodium, sugar, and preservatives. Stick to making your own oil and vinaigrette dressings. We do require good fat in our diets. Adding a cold pressed olive oil to a salad will benefit you!
Reduced Fat Or Fat-Free Products
If you see low fat or fat-free products you can guarantee they are full of preservatives and chemicals to make them taste good! Fat gives it texture and taste. Without it they replace it with sugar and chemicals to improve the taste. You may skip the fat calories but you end up putting sugar calories in your body which effects insulin. Insulin is a fat storing hormone so you are better off with the fat which has no insulin response. In moderation of course!
I would say this has to be one of the worst “diet” foods available. It is made mostly from soybean oil or safflower oil. Yes they are unsaturated but they are polyunsaturated oils which makes them less than favorable for cooking. Again taking the fat out means replacing it with other things like sodium and preservatives. Vegetable oils are mostly unsaturated, which is a problem because unsaturated oils are liquid at room temperature and cannot be used as spreads. To remedy this problem, the vegetable oils are subjected to a hydrogenation process. This involves exposing the oils to high heat, high pressure, hydrogen gas and a metal catalyst, Disgusting, yes.
But it is fruit! Yes it is but again it is exposed to processing for shelf life. Most dried fruits are covered in oil and sugar. In order to keep the dried fruits looking edible, they use artificial coloring, preservative- sulfur dioxide and for certain fruits add a lot of sugar to keep them tasty! Cranberries are the most sugar coated. Oils are used to also keep them preserved and looking good. One dried apricot still has the same amount of calories and more but how many dried apricots do you eat at once!? Empty calories galore!
Diet Sodas And Artificial Sweeteners
Regardless of what you think, diet sodas or artificial sweeteners can cause the same reaction in the body as sugar! Raising insulin levels. Remember insulin is a fat storing hormone. If you have a lot of diet soda or use a lot of sweeteners, you can cause insulin resistance without even realizing it! Never mind all the chemicals added to sodas and sweeteners! You will also start having cravings from the elevated insulin levels.
Sugar Free Products
Just like their fat-free counterparts, sugar-free has to go through almost the same thing to make the product tasty. Add fat or artificial fats, preservatives and chemicals. You are better off eating a treat once or twice a week, instead a box of sugar free cookies in one day! The calories add up and you are filling your body full of chemicals you can’t metabolize properly.
There are so many more products I could discuss but to me these are the most used “Diet” diet foods. If a label is long and has ingredients you can’t pronounce or never heard of them before, then stay clear! The first ingredient is the largest ingredient! So if sugar or fat or a preservative is the first ingredient, again stay clear!
Convenient food and food that has a long shelf life is great but anything you can keep for weeks on end without going bad can’t be that good for you! Fresh and homemade foods are your best bet. Now don’t get me wrong, having one of these items now and again isn’t going to harm you. But for the most part, I see people eating or drinking these daily. Fresh is best!